Normally we spend the whole day together, exploring bits of London we haven’t seen or want to see more of, but Sunday was a change from this. Tim had band practice, and I had a lunch with some of my family, so we decided that we would meet in the evening and do something different.
We met at the Courthouse Hotel, for a belated birthday present of cinema and cocktails. Now, first a little about the history of the hotel. It’s a Grade II listed building, in a Baroque style, and as you can tell from the signs on the outside, it was once the Old Street Magistrates Court and Police Station. Aside from the beauty of the building on the outside, the court held some high-profile cases such as the London mobsters, the Kray Twins, who stood trial for “demanding money through menaces”. As well as holding and sentencing notorious criminals, the police station also held Eric Arthur Blair, author of “1984” and Animal Farm, better known as George Orwell.
It has its own cinema, down on the same level as the beautiful swimming pool. Greeted by a lovely gentleman (with a distinct lack of sense of humour, but we can get over that). We were offered popcorn and water, and took our seats in one of the most comfortable cinema’s we’ve ever sat in! The film was great, you can’t go wrong with Indiana Jones, especially as an archaeologist!
Once we finished the film, we headed upstairs (we were escorted but we’ll come to that in a bit). The Jailhouse Bar is awesome. The decor is far, it has a fireplace, it’s beautiful, the service was great, if a tiny bit too efficient, and it has some amazing extras – like the jail cell booths!
The Jailhouse Bar is set within the former Police Station of the Old Street Magistrate’s Court. It’s great having a well-crafted cocktail (gin and vodka based only), whilst being surrounded by historically significant architecture, including former prison holding cells. There are a large range of spirits and drinks on offer, but the cocktails were part of our experience so we fully got stuck in! The bar was very empty, it was a Sunday after all, but the service was great. We even got to see some of the team and management from Leicester City, who were staying there before their game at Arsenal the next day, which would make sense as to the heightened security around the place.
If the cinema and bar are anything to go by, we literally can’t wait to stay one day in the future. If you’re interested in the cinema and cocktail experience, ours was a virgin experience gift, but the hotel do do deals directly that you can book on their website, and they have a schedule of classics coming up – and have a look at the swimming pool and bowling alley whilst you’re at it!